Dolly Parton has become one of the most famous and recognizable stars of country music over the years.
But Parton recently revealed that she hasn’t always enjoyed the luxuries of a successful career. She had to start from the bottom — and she wouldn’t have even gotten her start at all if her dad had his way.
Started from the bottom
According to the New York Post‘s Page Six, Parton, who has been nominated for a whopping 37 Grammy awards over the course of her career, began singing professionally when she was just 10 years old, but it was quite a struggle to get her career going from there.
In a recent interview with actress Reese Witherspoon on her new DirecTV series Shine on with Reese, Parton shared how she grew up exceptionally poor with a large family in eastern Tennessee.
Parton’s mother and father loved and cared for her greatly, but her father’s love and desire to protect her from potential harm almost prevented her career from ever even getting started.
“Daddy didn’t want me getting out in the world,” Parton explained. “He didn’t even want me to go to school — but that wasn’t in a bad way, he was just afraid something bad was gonna happen to his girls.”
Parton continued: “But Momma knew that I had a strength. She knew I knew what I wanted and who I was, so she would fight for me a lot when I’d wanted to go places Daddy didn’t want me to go to sing, like to Nashville with my Uncle Bill.”
Now we’re here
Those early days on the road were not easy, however. Parton’s family had to “get creative” at times when it came to things such as lodging and taking care of Parton’s burgeoning beauty regimen.
“We’d sleep in the car, that was our room,” Parton said. “My bedroom was the backseat and [Bill’s] was the front seat.”
The star singer added: “I’d wash my hair in the filling station bathrooms and put makeup on in the side mirror of the car, and that was just how you did it.”
Despite the admittedly lowly start to her singing career, Parton eventually went on to become an absolute megastar in the Nashville scene, and to this day is still one of the most recognizable stars in country music.
Her story of building a successful career out of nothing should provide an encouraging example to others who dream of someday being stars themselves.